Prince Andrew: Removing title requires act of Parliament says expert
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Royal expert and commentator Richard Fitzwilliams appeared on Jeremy Vine on 5 to discuss the stories surrounding Prince Andrew and the growing calls to remove his titles. Reports emerged over the weekend which claimed royal courtiers have already discussed plans if Prince Andrew loses his lawsuit with Virginia Giuffre which include asking him to stop using his titles. But Mr Fitzwilliams explained the difficulties faced by the Queen if she wanted to remove his titles independently as there are many constitutional hurdles that could prevent her from doing so.
Speaking on Jeremy Vine on 5, Mr Fitzwilliams explained the complexities behind removing a royal title.
He said: “Well, I mean, there’s absolutely no doubt that Prince Andrew is a very, very serious problem for the Royal Family.
“Regarding the removal of the title, Duke of York, I mean, this would require an act of parliament.
“Legislation in the past isn’t very helpful, there’s the titles deprivation act of 1917 which stipped four enemy aliens – they were Germans – of British peerages.
“We aren’t helped by the reform in the House of Lords of the bill in 2014 which enabled peers, had they been convicted of an offence and subsequently jailed for more than a year, to be deprived of the seat in the Lords…
“The very last thing I’d think that most people would want would be the publicity surrounding an act of parliament to strip Andrew of a particular title.”
London School of Economics professor, Thomas Poole, is an expert in UK constitutional law and spoke to the i about Prince Harry and Meghan losing their titles.
He explained the difficulties with the Queen choosing to remove them and said: “The monarch is not the guardian of the constitution and all major decisions are routed through Parliament.
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“This is true even of the many of the key elements relating to royalty.
“The Queen cannot remove titles or peerage, that can only be done by statute, passed by both the House of Commons and the House of Lords, and receiving royal assent, which means the agreement of the Queen.”
Reports have claimed royal courtiers are considering removing Prince Andrew’s titles if he loses the lawsuit brought by Virginia Giuffre.
The Sunday Times reported from a source that plans were being considered to either remove the honours or to put Prince Andrew into a form of “exile”.
The source said: “If [Prince Andrew] loses the case, the question is what do you do with him?
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“You can’t make him resign like you would a normal person but he would be asked to put his dukedom into abeyance.”
The Sunday Times also reported that insiders have said the royal has “disgraced” the title of Duke of York and that the Queen would be hard to persuade to remove that title from him.
A Buckingham Palace spokesman said: “This is speculation and the comments are without foundation. We would not comment on an ongoing legal matter.”
The Sunday People also reported that several defence sources revealed top brass want Prince Andrew to give up his nine military roles.
They reported some military chiefs have branded him “toxic” and his relationship to Jeffrey Epstein was “untenable”.
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